Friday, April 30, 2010

Greed Is Good ... Right?

Do you remember Gordon Gekko's speech in the movie Wall Street?

"The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind."

We were meant to be shocked by that speech. It was meant to change our way of thinking, but it doesn't seem to have done so. This satellite photograph shows what greed can do. Greedy intelligent executives of British Petroleum (BP) convinced folks that it was safe to drill for offshore oil, in the same vicinity as the Breton National Wildlife Refuge, and the Delta National Wildlife Refuge, and as a result, 42,000 gallons a day of crude oil are spilling into this beautiful area, from an offshore oil well that blew up and sank. When that oil slick lands on those beaches -- and it will -- that area will never be the same.

Mother Nature keeps giving us wake-up calls, and we keep ignoring them. And we'll keep on ignoring them as long as there is greed.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Welcome To My New Adirondack Chairs...

A few weeks ago I decided to get some new Adirondack chairs for my little treehouse terrace. I wanted wood, and I wanted something I didn't have to assemble. Well, zero one out of two isn't bad. On Sunday I set out on my quest to find the perfect chairs. Just as I had given up all hope, I stumbled into Home Depot, and collapsed into a display chair -- et voila! there they were -- exactly the chairs I wanted. I asked the clerk how much they were, and the price was fairly reasonable. My next question was, "Do I have to assemble them?"

"Nope," she replied. "You just have to take them out of the box and unfold them..."

What could be more perfect? Sold...!

Why did I believe her? When I opened the boxes, the chairs were in several pieces, with instructions on how to assemble them, and a list of equipment required. By the way, what is a ring spanner?

I called the store and asked if I could return the chairs and have my money refunded. I said I had purchased the chairs specifically on the condition that I was not required to assemble them.

As fast as you can say "Adirondack", two representatives of Home Depot were at my door, offering to pick up the chairs, take them back to Home Depot and assemble them, and deliver them back to me in the finished condition. After much to and fro, and a credit offered to me for my trouble, I am in possession of the assembled chairs, and they're ready to be used. Now, if only we would get some spring weather so I could power wash the deck and landscape my terrace. I guess I'll use my credit at Home Depot to buy some bedding plants. Right now I'm fighting with the squirrels for the last of their peanut stash in my planter boxes. But they'd better not sit on my chairs, the little b*ggers.

Oh, and by the way, the chairs are not wood. You'd never guess, wood would you?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

What Is A Photograph...?

Definition of Photography: pho·tog·ra·phy
Pronunciation: \fə-ˈtä-grə-fē\
Function: noun
The art or process of producing images by the action of radiant energy and especially light on a sensitive surface (as film or a CCD chip).
Etymology: From the Greek words phos ("light"), and graphis ("stylus", "paintbrush") or graphí, together meaning "drawing with light" or "representation by means of lines", "drawing".

The man in this picture is engaged in a deep conversation with us. He is saying, "You can see me, but I can also see you. I know you are there, you are looking at me, and I'm aware that you're looking at me. I have left an image of myself for you." He is saying to us, "Allow me to introduce myself," and it's almost as if he is ready to offer us a cup of coffee. By almost any definition, this image is a photograph -- except that, it was done 362 years ago, in 1648. The 362 years that separate us do not exist. This picture seems so real, and is so compelling, I can't look at it without being drawn away from the 21st Century and into 1648. All sense of time is suspended.

More than any other work of art this man has produced, I believe this drawing is his immortality. The drawing is not as famous as most of his other works, and perhaps many people might not even recognize him. But he gazes out at the world, possibly for centures to come, and tells us he was here, he lived, and despite his extraordinary talent, he was just a normal, regular, ordinary person like everyone else -- sitting at his kitchen table, sketching. And in case you don't recognize his signature in the bit of lace curtain at the top of the window, this is Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn.

Rembrandt.

To me, this picture is an incredible photograph, an immortal snapshot suspended in time.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Janie

Every once in a while we meet people who are larger-than-life, and they make an immediate and lasting impression upon us. Janie was just such a person. She was the mother of someone who had been a friend of mine, and the first time my friend took me home to meet his parents, I was gobsmacked. I had never been in the presence of such wealth, and I think my jaw dropped. However, Janie wore her wealth comfortably. She had been the product of aristocracy and Swiss finishing schools, and she knew how to make people feel at home. Janie was an interesting person. She once told me she had been one of the original "Bond girls". She had worked for Sir William Stephenson, known as The Man They Call Intrepid, and the person on whom Ian Fleming had based his James Bond stories. According to Ian Fleming, "James Bond is a highly romanticized version of a true spy. The real thing is William Stephenson."

Janie had two sons, and like some mothers, she felt that none of her sons' friends were "good enough" for them, and that included me. It wasn't until years later that I learned Janie had actually liked me, and she was sorry her son and I were no longer friends.

After my mother died, Janie embraced my daughter and me into the family fold. We were invited for Christmas, and on Christmas morning Janie and her husband opened a huge wooden crate full of bottles of Champagne -- a gift from the President of some European country -- I can't remember now which one. Janie's husband was on the Board of Directors of General Electric, and every year Janie received a new top-of-the-line refrigerator and stove, which I always admired. One year there was a knock at my door, and two delivery men were standing there with a stove. Janie had received her brand-new General Electric stove, and she sent me her "last year's" model.

Janie was an amazing cook, and we enjoyed many wonderful dinners in her beautiful dining room, surrounded by gorgeous antique furniture and silverware, and the best wine and port. My friend, who was rough around the edges most of the time, turned into a completely different person whenever he was in his mother's presence. He slipped very smoothly into his private-school "aristocratic" persona, his manners were impeccable, and he always referred to Janie as "Mother Dear" -- never "Mom".

It's strange, I have thought of Janie often over the years, even though I don't have the fondest memories of my friendship with her son. It was definitely not one of the most pleasant times in my life and I try not to remember it, but I was fascinated with Janie. In an odd way, she was one of the anchors in my life -- a touchstone as it were -- and I believe I learned something from her. Even though she had been blessed with beauty and wealth, her life sometimes was in turmoil because of something stupid her sons were doing -- or not doing -- even well into their adulthood. Janie knew how to be the steady center of the disorder and chaos. It was what she had been trained to do, and she was good at it.

I thought about Janie on Tuesday morning and I wondered how she was, and I hoped she was well. In the last couple of years I had thought about visiting her, but I just never got around to doing it. Yesterday I found out that Janie died -- on Tuesday morning. She just decided that it was time to go, and that was it. That's pretty much how Janie would do it -- no fuss, no muss -- just do it. But, what an amazing life she had. I'm glad I knew her.

911: What Is Your Emergency...?

If you haven't seen me around the blogs lately, it's because I have been enjoying my new bed.

(Oh, that doesn't sound very good does it...?)

What I mean is, after months years of procrastinating, I finally bought a new bed. The moment it was delivered, I put on clean sheets, climbed into it and promptly fell asleep. For a long time. This morning I woke up thinking, "Oh my goodness, this is how it feels to have a good night's sleep." I really felt like Goldilocks; the bed was just right.

I was a bit concerned at first because the bed is quite very high off the floor, and I felt like the princess in The Princess and the Pea. I'm not very tall, and I wondered if I would need a ladder to get into this thing? And what about if I hop out of bed in the middle of the night. Are my feet going to find the floor?  Or would I  be stranded up there until someone could rescue me?

"911:  What is your emergency?"

"I'm afraid to get out of my new bed.  Can someone please bring me a ladder?"

Today for the first time in a while, I have tons more energy. What a difference a good night's sleep makes -- on a good bed. I think I'll walk to work.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

How Green Was Our Valley...?

This week is Earth Week, and the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, and Gordon Campbell, the Premier of our Province, chose yesterday as the day to announce yet another multi-billion $$$$ dam in the Peace River Valley region our province. In addition to that, he flew five plane loads of people up there, just to make his ill-timed announcement. Is he stupid, arrogant, or does he really just not care?
The Sierra Club called the Site C decision "misguided." "Instead of investing billions of dollars in a dam whose need is unproven, we should first spend our time and money developing a full provincial framework for future energy development before making a final decision on Site C," said George Heyman, executive director of the organization's B.C. branch. The loss of a huge tract of forest would leave fewer trees to soak up carbon, while flooded farmland would reduce the province's food security, said Heyman.

That concern was echoed by a David Suzuki Foundation spokesman. "They haven't looked at the costs that this dam is going to incur, in terms of the climate," said the foundation's science director, Faisal Moola. Moola said the project has the potential of destroying forest land that provides "a critical carbon sink," that is "sequestering the greenhouse gases the cause climate change." ... Vancouver Sun

Peace River Valley

Why do we need more electricity? So we can make more stuff so people can buy more stuff and get rid of their old stuff? There was a very interesting program on "American Experience" last night, documenting the rise of automobile-worship and the degradation of cities as a result. Coincidentally, the damage caused by automobiles, their miles of highways and the attendant smog, corresponded with the birth of the environmental movement, when scientists, savvy politicians and activitists realized what was happening to the earth, and how just how far we humans had gone towards poisoning ourselves. We are the only animal on earth capable of our own annihilation just by our very existance. But I don't think we have reached the tipping point -- yet. We still have time to stop and to even reverse the damage. Whether one believes in God or evolution, we have been given a planet of immense beauty on which to live. It truly is a Garden of Eden, and it is irresponsible for us to ruin it.

Celebrate Earth Day -- plant a tree. And leave your car at home...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Changing Human Face...

The other day as I was riding home from work, two women carrying babies got onto the bus. They sat down on each side of a very elderly, craggy-faced gentleman, and I couldn't help noticing the juxtaposition of the two fresh-faced babies -- with their shiny hair, bright eyes and smooth skin -- next to the very wrinkled, grizzled old man. I thought to myself, "At one time in his life, that old man looked just like those babies."

I am fascinated with the human face; I love studying it and drawing it. Like snowflakes or fingerprints, no two faces are the same, although some faces can be similar. Even with identical twins there is always a dissimilarity -- however small -- to make them distinct. The human face undergoes several transitions as it moves from infancy to old age. In just 80 or so revolutions around the sun -- not very many in the scheme of things -- the human face changes from the picture on the left to the picture on the right. And in their own way, both faces are beautiful. The picture on the right is a painting by Rembrandt, and he certainly recognized the beauty in the old man's face.

A good example of someone whose face has been in the public eye all her life is the Queen. It's interesting in this picture to see how her face has changed from the first photograph to the last, and yet she is still basically the same person. She's fortunate that her face has not changed so much as to make her features unrecognizable. How many people can say that? A few years ago I went to a high school reunion, and I did not recognize many of the people there. Thank goodness for name badges. On the other hand, many of the the folks had not changed at all, and it was as if they had stepped into a time machine.

I sometimes look at Phinnaeus and Marigold and imagine what they will look like as adults. They are starting now to take on some of the characteristics of adult faces. Of course, they both have beautiful faces, but time will make its imprint, just as it does on everyone. I hope the inevitable lines in their faces will be laugh lines and not frown lines, and that their eyes will stay bright with the intellectual curiosity they have now.

As I sat looking at the very old gentleman sitting between the two cherubic babies, it occurred to me that, at another place in time, the old man is a little boy, running through a field on a warm summer afternoon.

On winding lakes and rivers wide,
That ask no aid of sail or oar,
That fear no spite of wind or tide!
Nought cared this body for wind or weather
When Youth and I lived in't together.

... Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Friday, April 16, 2010

Goodness, Gracious ... I'm Amazed...!


I thought I would log on tonight and do a quick little post after my brief hiatus, and then I read all your wonderful comments, and I really am amazed...! You have no idea how much I appreciate your visits, and your fabulously witty, intelligent comments. What a special bunch of people you are. Goodness, I really am quite overwhelmed. Thank you...!

There ... I just broke one of my own rules, and used two exclamation marks in one paragraph.

On a slightly different -- but similar -- note, our friend Eddie Bluelights at Clouds and Silvery Linings is honoring me with The Sunday Roast this weekend, and you can read the post here. Once again, I am quite amazed. "How did that happen?" you ask. Well, I'm not quite sure, but it sure is fun. And I'm in good company, judging from the past blogs who have been featured on the Sunday Roast. Which is a perfect segue into what I would really like to say, which is that I don't believe there are any blogs that should be singled out for any blog post awards.  They're just silly.  Wherever you get groups of people together, you get those who find it necesary to establish a hierarchy. It's human nature, but it ultimately takes the fun out of it for 95% of the other people involved.

All of you have fabulous blogs, and occasionally I stumble upon one that is so good it knocks my socks off. Sometimes for new bloggers, breaking into the blogging world can make folks feel like that kid in grade eight who's new in school and isn't sure if anyone is going to like them. We've all been there. Just remember, it's supposed to be fun so try not to take it too seriously.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled program...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cheers...!

I'm taking a short hiatus from blogging for a while. It seems my blog is becoming even more boring than usual *y-a-w-n* and I am getting fewer and fewer commenters each day. I love the folks who continue to comment, and I will continue to visit you. But my blog is sort of strange -- it has no category. I don't belong to the über-blogger, POTW crowd, and I don't have wonderful photographs to share with you, and I don't have wonderful recipes and decorating tips. So, I'm not sure I even have anything interesting to say. My observations on life are often not the same as everyone else's. In any case, I'm sure I'll be back soon -- maybe tomorrow -- but for now...

Cheers!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Story of Artyom Savelyev -- What Were The Options?

At the Doors of a School
Nikolai Bogdanov-Belsky
1887.
Oil on canvas. 127.5 x 72 cm.
State Russian Museum,
St. Petersburg, Russia

By now everyone has heard the story of Artyom Savelyev, the little boy who had been adopted from Russia, and then sent packing again after he "didn't work out" with his new family. His adoptive mother and grandmother put him on a plane unescorted back to Russia. The story is heartbreaking because it is very complex and definitely has more than one side to it. By all accounts, this little boy had become a threat to his adoptive family, threatening to kill them and burn down their house. He was seven years old, and who knows what sort of a life he had led up to this point. One can only speculate.

"Give me the child until he is seven, and I will give you the man". ... Francis Xavier

Artyom is a cute little boy, with what seems to be a perpetual look of bewilderment on his face. Any child who is taken from his own culture, given a westernized name -- Justin -- and re-made into an entirely different and foreign persona would be bewildered. In fact, I think he would be terrified. According to his adoptive grandmother, "He drew a picture of our house burning down and he'll tell anybody that he's going to burn our house down with us in it," she said. "It got to be where you feared for your safety. It was terrible."

I feel very bad for the adoptive family. I think they had good intentions, but just didn't know what they were doing. But, there is no happy ending to this story, unfortunately. This little boy is probably going to need a lot of help for a long time. I hope there is some kindly Russian babushka somewhere who hears this little boy's story, and gives him just what he needs -- lots of big grand(s)motherly hugs. He's still just a little boy.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Way To Go, Phil Mickelson...!

My friend Lulu is an avid golf fan. She can watch golf until she is transfixed and completely hypnotized by the game. I, on the other hand, have never found much interest in it -- either playing it or watching it. I am a huge fan of Karma, however, and I believe it ultimately works its magic. So, I was hoping Phil Mickelson would win the Masters golf tournament, and I was thrilled when he did. And that other golfer -- you know the one -- tied for fourth place. Somehow the Gods of Humility had decided it was not Tiger's turn to win this year.

However, I am also a firm believer in redemption. Somerset Maugham's stories were all about sin and redemption -- in other words, the human condition. And we are all guilty of being human, to one degree or another. Transgression and forgiveness are the fabric of most spiritual faiths, formal or informal. So I wish the best for Tiger, I'm just glad he didn't win the Masters this year. He hasn't deserved it -- yet.

Way to go, Phil...!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Sounds Of Our Lives...

Mink Pond
Winslow Homer
1891

When I first started working, back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth, I used to get a ride to work with the executive assistant of the CEO of the company. Her name was Julie and at the time I thought she was much older and more sophisticated than I was, but in fact she was about 35. She was always impeccably dressed, and she wore leather driving gloves. One of the things I noticed as we drove along in the early morning was the sound of her gloves on the steering wheel. They made a sort of squeaky sound, and I remember thinking, "That is the sound of good leather." I have always loved good leather gloves and when I'm shopping for gloves, the most important thing is they have to "sound" good -- they have to sound like good leather.

I grew up in a small town, on the edge of the forest, and I loved the sound of frogs and crickets. Frogs were the sound of a spring evening, and crickets were the sound of late summer. I live in the city now, and I don't hear the frogs anymore, but on a summer evening I can go down to the Fraser River and still hear the crickets singing. Their sound envelopes me with a feeling of complete and absolute peace.

Boy in a Boat
Winslow Homer

Yesterday I was thinking about the various sounds we hear every day -- not the obvious ones like grand symphonies or our favorite rock band rocking the rafters, but the quiet, understated sounds that form the backgrounds of our lives. Here are some of my favorites, and each of these sounds can conjure up a strong feeling in me, and give me a sense of comfort.

Water lapping at the sides of a boat or a dock;

Seagulls in the distance;

A train whistle;

Crows during the months of July and August – they don’t caw, they chuckle;

Fire crackling;

The sound of clothes tumbling in a dryer;

Squeaky gate birds;

Children playing;

A single robin at dusk;

Ice in a lemonade pitcher on a hot afternoon;

There are too many more to mention, and I'm sure you have some favorites too. What are your favorite everyday sounds?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Tribute To The West Virginia Miners

For the past few days I have been touched by watching the rescue and recovery efforts of the miners in West Virginia. Pictures of their families waiting outside the entrance to the mines have been heart-wrenching. Their pain is unmistakable and their lives will never be the same. On what started out to be just a regular working day, these families bid their husbands/fathers/brothers/sons goodbye as they went off to work, not knowing their were bidding them farewell forever

I grew up in a logging town, and I feel a deep empathy for the folks who work at dangerous jobs. I remember my father being seriously injured at work. He had been hit on the head with a heavy chain, and we were told he would not live through the night. To everyone's amazement, he woke up the next morning and asked for some toast and coffee. My mother was so relieved, all she could say was, "Well, maybe this has finally knocked some sense into you..." But joking aside, it had been a very long night for all of us. The people we love should never have to die, by simply going out to earn their daily bread for their families.

According to Forbes Magazine, the ten most dangerous job are:

1. Logger
2. Pilot
3. Fishermen
4. Iron/Steel Worker
5. Garbage Collector
6. Farmer/Rancher
7. Roofer
8. Electrical Power Installer/Repairer
9. Sales, Delivery, and Other Truck Driver
10. Taxi Driver/Chauffeur

I'm astonished that taxi driver is on the list, and miner is not. My admiration goes out to these men, and to the men who also put their lives at risk by attempting to rescue and recover these folks. God speed...

Fearless, tough and friendly men.
Their comradeship renowned.
Right through that black iniquitous den,
Their laughter did resound.

Now mine itself entombed like they
No more will maim or kill.
The earth it's shroud, like them it lay
So silent, cold and still.

The valley such a finer place.
Returned to former scene.
If they but look with reverted face
Would gaze on pastures green.

... Aneurin Owen

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Buzz At Buckingham Palace

It seems to be fashionable lately to diss the members of the royal family, but I rather like them. If they didn't exist, we would invent them. The newest generation of royals all seem to be pretty good kids, university educated, well-accomplished and fairly normal. Diana's two boys have grown up to be well-adjusted young men, both lieutenants in the British military, and now there are rumors that William is engaged to be engaged. Wasn't it just last week that Charles and Diana were announcing their engagement? Is anyone *gasp* old enough to remember their lavish wedding at St. Paul's Cathedral? We all thought Diana had caught the brass ring and would one day be Queen. Who could ever have guessed at the twists and turns her life would take, and how it would ultimately end so quickly? Truth is stranger than fiction, and you just can't make this stuff up. That's what I love about the royals.

So, amidst all the stories of infidelities and break-ups -- Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy are the latest couple to bite the dust -- it's kind of fun to speculate on William and Kate's engagement. Will they or won't they? And when? You can bet the "where" will definitely not be St. Paul's Cathedral. And I have a feeling Kate's dress will not be the frothy, ostentatious, over-the-top confection that Diana wore. I think Kate's dress will be simple, elegant and down-to-earth, like she is.

I like William and Kate, I think they're a lovely young couple, and I wish them well. And I hope to God there are no tattooed pole-dancing strippers in William's future.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Birth Of A Masterpiece...

Is it just my imagination, or is there a strong similarity between these two paintings? The one on the left is The Three Graces, painted by Rubens in 1635, and the one on the right is Les Demoiselles d'Avignon painted by Picasso in 1907. Was Picasso influenced by Rubens? Picasso's women are five prostitutes from a brothel, and Picasso's original name for the painting was Le Bordel. On the other hand, Rubens women represented the graces of joy, charm and beauty. I guess one could say these graces are represented in both paintings.

The thing I find interesting about the paintings is the negative shapes. If you squint ever so slightly, you will see the negative shape on the left is almost identical in both paintings, especially in the upper left hand corner. Also, the shade of blue that Picasso has used is in homage to the blue in Rubens painting. The two women on the left in each painting have a similar knee and foot as well, and in fact the more I look at the paintings, the more similarities I see.

I would love to have the opportunity to study art history, and especially the influence artists have on each other. I think much of it must be subliminal -- what inspired the artist to put his marks on a piece of paper? How does the artist use line, shape, color, composition? How does the artist develop a particular style? What makes a work of art a masterpiece? It takes more than talent; many great artists are not even able to draw, but they are able to create masterpieces, while other talented artists can paint a "nice" picture, but will never attain that level of masterpiece.

Where did I put my paints....

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Eleven...!

Marigold was born on Easter Sunday, and today again she celebrates her birthday on Easter. Wasn't it just last week she was ten? Marigold is a hoot. She has a wonderful sense of humor that sneaks up on you, just when you least expect it.  Last summer when the munchkins were staying with me, I insisted that Phinnaeus had to wash his feet before he got into bed at night, and amidst much sighing, he complied.  One day when I took the kids swimming during the sweltering heat wave, Marigold bounded out of the pool and up onto the beach and said, "At least this is a good way to get Phinnaeus to wash his feet..." and off she bounded again back into the pool.  I laughed.  Marigold looks up to her big brother, much to his chagrin at times.  The other night after his band concert was finished, Marigold jumped out of her chair and said, "I'm going to find Phinnaeus!" and off she went in search of her brother. There is only three years difference in their ages, and I hope they will be friends their whole lives.  I think it's very important.

Marigold has dark, poker-straight hair, unlike everyone else in the family, and she's very athletic. She also loves math and she's good at it.  My goodness, I have no idea where that talent came from -- certainly not from me.

I rarely -- if ever -- see Marigold in a bad mood.  She's even tempered, and she's a very nice person.  She has a good centre.  One sometimes wonders where these little people come from, how their souls are created -- they are all so unique, and Marigold is definitely unique.  I believe Marigold will make her mark on the world one day.  She belongs to that generation of women who can do anything they want to do with their lives, unimpeded.  The sky's the limit.

Happy Easter, everyone, and Happy Birthday to Marigold...!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Hair ... Our Crowning Glory

A sure sign that we no longer belong to the ... um ... younger generation, is our puzzlement over their hair. I work with a young fellow who has "Zac Efron hair", and I am amazed at how he manages to keep his hair in place all day. When he turns to speak to anyone, he moves his whole body, never just his head. He looks absolutely adorable, and completely silly. Who would ever have guessed that Bobby Goldsboro hair would be recycled again? How do they keep it that way? Is femininity the new masculinity?

All of us have pictures, hidden away in the deepest, darkest recesses of our photo albums, of ourselves with "baby bath hair". Remember that? And when our own children came along, we inflicted the same ordeal on them, and then took their picture. I think every living, breathing soul has a picture of themself with baby bath hair. Well, for goodness sake, who knew we were turning these unfortunate babies -- the boys, anyway -- into sex symbols? It seems baby bath hair is enough to make a teenage girl hyperventilate.

Does anyone remember these guys? Apparently they're back in style. Everything old is new again. I still think George was the cute one. Paul looked too much like a girl. Maybe it was the hair.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Who Has Seen The Wind?

It's sort of a lazy day here for me today. We're in the middle of a huge Pacific wind storm, a perfect day to curl up and read a book. In any case, my computer is right in the line of fire of a big Douglas fir tree that appeared to be heading straight for my window a couple of times, so I thought it best not to sit here for long, until the wind dies down a bit.

video

Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you.
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.
Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I.
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.
... Christina Rossetti

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Way To Go, Phinnaeus....!

Phinnaeus is a great kid, currently trying to navigate the stormy waters of being 14. I don't use the word "blessings" lightly, but Phinnaeus has been blessed with many things in his life, including parents who encourage his talents, both musical and academic. And, as with most 14 year-old boys, he is sometimes not able to see his own talents. When he was small, his nickname was "the little professor" because he could expound on any subject. I was a bit concerned that he would grow up to be a teeny bit nerdish, but in a nice way, you know. But he has actually grown up to have an "inner cool" -- you know the kind that all of us recognize, except the person who actually has it. He definitely is his own person. He's growing up too fast, though. It seems like just last week he and I used to walk around the neighborhood singing the songs from Alice in Wonderland -- "They're painting the roses red, they're painting the roses redddddddd..." That was just week, wasn't it?

He did a fabulous job at his concert last night, and he's definitely going to be a cool dude, no matter what he chooses to do in his life. Way to go, Phinnaeus...!

Love, Oma XXX OOO